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Consumer Research


Financial dramas in soap opera Britain

Financial dramas in soap opera Britain

Life mirrors art in Britain – or at least our financial behaviour does when it’s compared to our favourite soap characters, according to the Credit TV report from

The report analysed the lifestyles and financial behaviour of some of the UK’s leading soap characters and compared them to the nation, using Experian’s award-winning consumer segmentation system, Mosaic UK.

The character Brits identify with most is EastEnders’ Pat Butcher, with one in six of us (16 per cent) sharing similar traits to the Queen Vic regular.

The study backs up current trends of debt and overspending; a third (32 per cent) of people who have similar characteristics to the ‘Enders star do not have enough money to save or invest, while of those in this group with credit agreements, a third (34 per cent) struggle to make their monthly repayments.

The report also reveals:

- Around one in ten (10 per cent) of us are as financially astute as Ian Beale of EastEnders and Rodney Blackstock from Emmerdale

- Rodney Blackstock’s group have good financial habits, with 64 per cent of those who have credit agreements being able to make repayments with ease and a further quarter (27 per cent) having some income remaining after making monthly payments

- Ian Beale’s group have similar strengths to Blackstock – more than half (53 per cent) are able to save money and invest at the end of each month.

- More than two-fifths (42 per cent) know what their credit rating is, something that only a third (33 per cent) of Pat’s group claim.
The Albert Square stalwart heads up a cast of six soap characters who symbolise the differing attitudes Brits have to personal finance.

1. Pat Butcher (EastEnders) – 16 per cent of Brits

Bookie-owner Pat Butcher’s intentions are good, but just like 16 per cent of Brits, she suffers from lapses in financial control and struggles to make credit payments. One in ten (10 per cent) of those with her traits admitted to being poor with their money and spending it without thinking.

2. Rosemary King (Emmerdale) – 15 per cent of Brits

Some 15 per cent of Brits are financially comfortable like widow Rosemary King and have time and money on their hands.  They’re cautious, with just over three fifths (61 per cent) saying they’re in control of their money management.  They’re also most likely to have ‘some’ savings (43 per cent) rather than a variety of savings and investments.

3. Ian Beale (EastEnders) – 10 per cent of Brits

Just 10 per cent of Brits display Kath’s café boss Ian Beale’s financial traits and mirror his habits, such as making credit payments with ease (46 per cent) and having some form of savings and investments (53 per cent). Just over half (51 per cent) consider themselves to be good at managing their money and are in control of their personal finances.  Although four in 10 (44 per cent) admit they can sometimes lapse in controlling their finances, Beale’s bounce-back from bankruptcy in 2000 proves they’re good at turning their financial situation around.

4. Rodney Blackstock (Emmerdale) – Seven per cent of Brits

Seven per cent of Brits display excellent financial nous like Blackstock and are likely to be successful with rewarding and challenging careers. Almost nine out of ten (86 per cent) are investment savvy and have savings and investments and two fifths (45 per cent) do their homework before buying financial policies.

5. Liam Connor (Coronation Street) – Seven per cent of Brits

Just under one in ten (7 per cent) of us liken ourselves to the Underworld boss of the street, displaying an entrepreneurial streak.  Most people within this category are likely to be confident when it comes to cash, with three quarters (73 per cent) of those who make credit agreement repayments saying they’re able to make monthly payments with ease or have some income remaining– but the reality may be somewhat different with around two-thirds (63 per cent) admitting they do not know what their personal credit rating is.

6. Cilla Battersby-Brown (Coronation Street) – Six per cent of Brits

Like Cilla, six per cent of the nation are not that well off financially and struggle to get by and, of these, almost half (49 per cent) don’t have enough money to save or invest.  Many (33 per cent) seek extra help by taking out a personal loan, the financial product they’re most likely to own.

Jim Hodgkins, Managing Director of, said, “Despite examining fictional characters, our Credit TV study highlights the range of financial attitudes and situations in the UK today.

“It’s important to remember that whatever your financial status, it pays to be informed of your credit rating; a worrying number of Brits we surveyed were unaware of their score and its implications.”

He added, “Regularly monitoring your credit report with a service such as can help you manage your finances and detect identity fraud early, as well as notifying you to changes in your credit report.”

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